Sunday, December 31, 2017

Raiders Fire Coach Del Rio

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jack Del Rio has been fired as coach of the Oakland Raiders, ending his three-year tenure after a disappointing 6-10 record this season.

Oh well, it had to happen. Expectations might've been higher than deserved, but Jack Del Rio couldn't even produce a .500 season. He had to go and hopefully the new coaching staff can get the team to play up to their potential. The Oakland Raiders are a talented team. They're much closer to being a champion than at any time since 2002-03.  The right coaches with the right schemes can give Oakland a football championship before the teams' exodus to the desert.

Rumor has it that owner Mark Davis is talking with former Raiders coach Jon Gruden. Do we really wanna see Chucky come out of the commentating booth to take a swing at coaching a team to a championship again?  Hasn't he been away from coaching for over a decade? Come on Raider Nation, we don't need our hearts being played with. Thanks for the memories Chucky but that boat done sailed many moons ago. We can do much better than having an out-of-touch Jon Gruden at the helm.

Whoever ends up steering the Silver & Black pirate ship come next season, they better bring something to the table that we can recognize as a winning plan. Jack talked a great game. But the talk ran out of gas. Now it's show-me time. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Human Torch Gives A Scorching Performance In Return

Dammit if he ain't the most Golden athlete on the scene right now. Steph Curry, aka the Human Torch, came back after missing what seems like a gazillion games and just about took down the Memphis Grizzilies single-handedly. If ever the nickname Human Torch fit like a glove on the NBA star, tonight was the night.

In his first game back from an ankle injury, Steph dropped 38 points in just 26 minutes. His 10-3pt shots made, felt like layups and everything he did just seemed effortless. It looked like the entire Warriors team knew that the Human Torch needed to clean out his flame thrusters, so they simply fed him shots to load up and shoot down.

Meanwhile, Klay Thompson chucked in 21 points and Kevin Durant was able to rev it down from his 30 point nights to a pedestrian 20 points. Klay confirmed that the Warriors high scoring night was "100%" attributable to Steph's return.

As much as we love watching Klay get hot and KD shoot his unstoppable jumper, there's nothing that compares to the overall high us basketball fans get from seeing Steph Curry go all out "Flame On" in a game. In heated performances such as these, #30 is just not human ya'll.

Remember the quote from Rocky II when Apollo Creed 

Final Score
Grizzilies 128
Warriors 141

Monday, December 25, 2017

Durant and Warriors Take Down Cavaliers

No Curry! No Problem!

The Golden State Warriors hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas afternoon and you know what that means; No gifts for Lebron and company.  That's right, the Warriors won the game 99-92, giving the home sellout crowd a much anticipated wrapped Christmas gift.

Defense and more defense is what this game was all about. Plenty of blocked shots and hustle by the Warriors. Plenty of crying and pleas for fouls by the Cavaliers; same old Cavs.  The game was close throughout, but when it mattered most the Warriors showed Lebron and the rest of the NBA exactly why they're champions. We've got Kevin Durant; Ballgame!

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal..............

Thursday, December 21, 2017

V. Putin's Private Video Vault

Note: footage to be released if our man in Washington outgrows his crib

1973 was not a good year for The Donald

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tribute To A Fallen President

Every tear wiped away,
Pain and sickness gone;
Wide awake there with Him!
Peace goes on and on!
lyrics from song "Going Home"

Ed Clark (American, 1911-2000)

FDR Funeral, Warm Springs, Georgia, 1945, printed c. 1982. Titled and dated in ink below the image l.l., signed and inscribed "Edward Clark - Life" in ink below the image l.r., signed by the subject Graham Jackson and dated "1982" in ink below the image l.c., signed and numbered "8 of 10" in ink on the backing. Gelatin silver print, image size 8 7/8 x 12 3/4 in. (22.5 x 32.3 cm), matted, framed.
Condition: Taped to overmat with masking tape, gently light-struck, solarization or similar in dark areas of image.

N.B. As a staff photographer for LIFE, Ed Clark drove all night from his home in Nashville to Warm Springs, Georgia, after learning of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As the President's body was transported to the train station for the journey back to Washington, Clark captured United States Navy bandsman Graham W. Jackson, Sr., playing "Goin' Home," one of Roosevelt's favorite tunes, on his accordion. The now iconic photograph of Jackson with tears streaming down his cheeks, a poignant and moving symbol of the nation's grief, was published in the April 17, 1945, issue of LIFE.

No, it's not the dashed playoff hopes of the Oakland Raiders that has me posting this iconic print.

I just happened to be browsing popular photos of African-Americans taken during the 1930's and 1940's. This print of Navy bandsman Graham W. Jackson crying his heart out over the loss of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt is a moving historical document.

Here is a black man enlisted in a segregated military playing a eulogy song of tribute (Going Home) for a fallen white President in front of a mourning, segregated southern audience. Well, at least a few in the audience seem in mourning; many are caught up gawking at Graham and perhaps wondering why a Life magazine photographer would be interested in taking such a shameful photograph of a crying Negro. If only they knew.

I'm sure throughout the years this photograph has been viewed with wonder at why this black man playing his accordion was crying so hard and what could be so tragic to bring about such a grieving face. His grief seems so much more than just one of patriotic tribute to a great leader.

Well it turns out that Graham was a renown musician and personal friend of Eleanor and President Franklin Roosevelt. His grief was one of deep personal loss and friendship; and it shows. Maybe the southern audience did know and found such close personal friendships between blacks and whites shameful during that time. Unfortunately for me, an African-American knowledgeable about America's history of racial prejudice, in looking back I tend to see the ghosts of hate that caused so much pain and suffering for my peoples.

If we take out the southern gawkers from the photograph, which it seems many newspaper editors did at the time, the hint of racial unacceptance and/or shamefulness is erased and you're left with a feeling of total tribute to a leader and friend. It's like using the Photoshop Application today to alter or enhance photographs; perception becomes reality. That is, until viewers come face to face with a not so perfect reality.

Its possible that what I see in this picture is nothing more than figments of my imagination. Disturbing photos like that of the lynched Tom Shipp and Abe Smith (Beitler Photo), or that of the brutalized body of 14-year old Emmett Till continue to haunt that era of American systemic racism and can never be fully erased from the minds of black folks. I suppose seeing a 1945 photo of a black man crying while southern whites look on in the background just somehow awakens the ugly ghosts of racial prejudice past and present. The fact remains that for whatever reason, there have been and continue to be white people who dislike people of color based solely on the tint of their skin. It's a curse our country seems to be doomed to live with.

(May 2016)

Headline News: Lynching mural sparks debate in Illinois town 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What's Wrong With Carr Now!

In a game where the Oakland Raiders did just enough to slow down Dallas and put themselves eight yards away from a win, quarterback Derek Carr simply fumbled away all hope.

3rd and 3 at DAL 8
(0:31 - 4th) (Shotgun) D. Carr scrambles right end to Dal 1 for 7 yards (J. Heath). FUMBLES (J.Heath), ball out of bounds in End Zone, Touchback. 

The Dallas Cowboys, thanks to the Derek Carr touchback fumble one yard away from a touchdown, got the ball back with 31 seconds remaining to run out the clock and secure a victory.

I don't wanna hear it was just a competitor trying to do too much. What I saw was exactly what's been wrong and continues to haunt quarterback Derek Carr; poor decision making.

He had the first down. He had time to run four plays from the 1- yard line. He had Beast Mode ready and able. He had the home crowd stadium and the Cowboy hatin' nation watching on Sunday night television, ready to crown him a worthy clutch quarterback. He had it all, if only he'd chosen to simply dive out of bounds with football tucked securely away.

But something happened to Derek while scrambling those seven yards. He thought he was bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than J. Heath, the Dallas safety closing in on him. So he decided around the 3-yard line to impersonate superman by going airborne and extending the ball toward the orange pylon at the goal line. Heath, unable to ground superman, simply gave him a jarring shove in the back which loosened the ball from superman's outstretched grip and sent it tumbling in and out through the end zone sideline. Touchback! Cowboys ball. Ballgame!

I only hope that Derek can take something positive away from this one bad decision. I like Derek and think he has a lot of good football left in him. We didn't need superman tonight to beat the Dallas Cowboys; we just needed to remember who we are and what we do best. Unfortunately, what we've been doing better than anything lately is fumbling away every chance to return to the playoffs. It's time to say goodbye to the Oakland Raiders 2017 season. They're done and so am I.

The Oakland Raiders did compete tonight. In the end the ball just bounced the other teams' way. F#ck It!

Cowboys 20
Raiders 17

Thursday, December 14, 2017

What's Wrong With Carr?

Where has QB Derek Carr disappeared to?

After the Raiders 26-15 loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City this past Sunday, an espn staff writer wrote an article about QB Derek Carr that "pointed out the obvious;" broken finger, broken fibula, broken bone in the back.

Basically, Derek Carr has been "Broken" since late last season. And like a broken bone, the marrow of his courage and confidence seem brittle, as if enough time hasn't passed for them to fully mend.  The question I have is will Carr ever wholly mend and return to being that courageous, efficient leader we saw commanding the playing field early last season. Time will tell.

In the meantime the Raiders are 6-7 and looking up one game to the 7-6 Chiefs and Chargers in the AFC West Division lead. Its more likely that the Raiders will miss the playoffs than make them. They host the Dallas Cowboys this week in their final home game of the season. Many eyes will be on Derek Carr this coming Sunday, looking for any hints of truth to the theory that broken bones lead to broken courage and character in sports.

Will Derek Carr begin to look more like the fearless leader we all know he's capable of on the football field, or will the ghosts of his record high career sacked NFL quarterback brother David Carr haunt him into obscurity? Again, time will tell. 

"Geology is the study of Pressure and Time. That's all it takes, really. Pressure and time. That and a big god-damn poster."   Quote from movie Shawshank Redemption

Monday, December 04, 2017

Raiders in Three-Way Division Leading Tie

The Oakland Raiders are showing much improvement on defense and the offense seems to be rediscovering its strengths. They took down the lowly Giants (2-10) at the Oakland Coliseum yesterday and did it without their two starting wide receivers, Coop and Crabtree.

The game had many Raiders highlights but coulda, shoulda been a Raiders blowout. The New York Giants are simply not a good team. They fired their head coach and general manger this morning, and I hear that benched quarterback Eli Manning is ready and expecting to take back his starting job come their next game.

Meanwhile, the Raiders are now 6-6, tied with the Chiefs and Chargers for first place in the AFC West. With four games left in the regular season, the division title is up for grabs. The teams will meet up in the following weeks and those games will likely determine who will represent the west in the AFC Playoffs.

With the backup receiving corps showing some grit, and the emergence of a beastly Marshawn Lynch effectively grounding and pounding yesterday, it's not far-fetched to see the silver and black in the Playoffs. Win out and they're in. 

Game Ball to WR Cordarrelle Patterson for killing the Giants with his speed. Also the defense, now under newly promoted defensive coordinator John Pagano, played with a passion. Yes, the Raiders defensive engine is revving and ready to make up for past transgressions. The team heads to Kansas City this weekend for a showdown against the Chiefs. With the playoffs on the line, its time to be great.

Just Win Baby!

Final Score
Giants 17
Raiders 24

Monday, November 20, 2017

Raiders a Mexico City 'No Show'

Monday Morning News:
Raiders Hit Rock Bottom in 33-8 loss to Patriots in Mexico City

At this point I'm ready to ship the Raiders off to Las Vegas in hopes that maybe organized gambling can pay off NFL officials and/or opponents to let the silver and black win some games. How else can they compete? The team is simply done for the season. There's no fire in their play and absolutely no hint of the high-power offense that was the talk of the league last season.

Something happened to the Raiders offensive mystique when quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken leg late last season. That and the loss of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has drained the confidence and character right out of this year's Raiders offense. We are left with a disinterested group of players going through the motions while a mediocre coaching staff hasn't a clue as to what's broken.

Time to re-evaluate the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of coach Jack Del Rio staying at the helm. Though he looks and sounds good at the podium in front of reporters, he's become a consistently bad leader on the sideline. In the front office it's Reggie McKenzie who needs replacing. He's always a day late and a dollar short. Its time for a change in the Raiders organization, top to bottom.

I say ship'em off to Las Vegas early. Find some entrepreneur GM not named Reggie; with vision and guts the likes of Moe Greene, who can build them into a powerhouse football team once again. Because what the Oakland Raiders are today is an embarrassment to the uniform. The Raiders are done in 2017, and have been done since late last season; we just didn't want to believe it.

"You son of a bitch. Do you know who I am? I'm Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders."
―Moe Greene to Michael Corleone[src]

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Raiders Need Everyone In Mexico City

So how the heck do you take down Brady and Belichik on the road in a high altitude environment like Mexico City?

Each and Every Raiders player and coach has to show up and contribute every talent in their arsenal. Then dig deep down and pull out something that resembles a win. There can't be any hesitation or second guessing. No confusion or questioning what to do. See ball get ball. See opponent get opponent. Beat your man with your hunger and skill. 

Go out there and lay it down for each other. Hold back nothing. Focus on the task in front of you and trust that your coaches and teammates are doing the same.  Remember it's not just a game, its a commitment to excellence and winning. On any given Sunday, anyone can get got. Now go get me the Patriots.

Be Professionals, Be Fearless, Be Raiders!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Warriors Locked In & Loaded

What more can you say about the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors that hasn't already been said. They were home facing a feisty, young Philadelphia 76ers team last night, finding themselves in a 74-74 tie midway through the third quarter. No Worries, No Panic, just continue working hard and trusting in the championship delivery plan; pressure defense, offensive ball movement, aggressive high percentage shooting.

The Warriors would break the tie and go on a 20-4 scoring run to show the visiting 76ers the dangerous striking power of a championship team.  The formula seems to always kick in during the third quarter and now with both young and old bench  players flexing their muscles, the Warriors can withstand the best shot an opponent throws without missing a beat.

Casspi, McGee, Young, West, Looney, Livingston, McCaw, Bell. All are showing the unique talents that make them invaluable to another Warriors Championship run.

On a night where former NBA Finals MVP Andre Igoudala was given a rest, the bench players gave notice to the league that there's absolutely no rest for opponents of this seasons' Golden State Warriors; None!

Final Score
76ers 114
Warriors 135

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Tai Chi vs Bagua Scene

There's definitely more to these martial arts forms than meets the eye in this fight scene. The chopping, swirling and flipping that goes into preparing the food below is a reflection of the fighting movements being displayed above.

Though made for the visual pleasure of movie going eyes, the fluidity and balance of the forms are not lost. More important, the respect that the styles have for one another, its as if watching the yin/yang symbol swishing around in a circle. Watch as the two forms become one. Amazing!

Almost as good as watching Snake vs Crane. Almost!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

World Series Champions Wearing Orange

Yes Indeed! The Houston Astros closed out game 7 in Los Angeles to earn their first ever World Series Championship. They did it by pouncing on the Dodgers early with five runs over the first two innings and chasing the Dodgers starter out of the game.

Then after the Astros rotated four pitchers through five innings without allowing a run, in comes Charlie Morton to suffocate the Dodgers with four Houston Strong innings.

The home team, wearing that ugly White jersey with Blue lettering and blood Red numeral on front, squeaked out a run in the sixth against Charlie, but beyond that little blip the Dodgers and their fans wore puppy dog eyes the rest of the night. It was a beautiful sight! Los Angeles never looked so good at night as tonight. Seeing Astros orange jumping up and down in jubilation at Chavez Ravine felt like Mardi Gras had come west. But not for Da'Bums.

Astros 5    Dodgers 1

Congratulations Houston Astros
..........2017 World Series Champions..........

News Flash: Astros shortstop Carlos Correa proposes to his girlfriend on the field after winning World Series. Wow!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

World Series Baseball Rocks!

Wow!  WOW!

Nobody can put tonight's game 5 of the MLB World Series into words. Nobody.  It was simply a timeless piece of art that will endure long after the baseball artists who created it are gone!

This one's for the late, loveable Yogi!

Don't just hear about it, don't read tweets or eye Instagram shots, it simply won't give you what watching the game LIVE gave us baseball fans. It was five hours of the most thrilling, terror-filled, nail-biting, floor pacing, cursing and I Can't Take It Anymores that any baseball fan has ever lived through. I've simply never seen anything like it; such power, such timing, so many momentum swings. I lost my last nerve a few hours ago and wanna call my doctor for a prescription so I can go to sleep tonight.

Watching on television the loyal, celebrating Houston Astros Fans, who sat through the entire drama, makes me feel like I'm actually there in the ballpark high-fiving and exhaling with them. How the heck those fans made it through the game without medications I'll never know. For those taking blood pressure pills I'll put in a prayer for them to get home safely and without any medical complications. I'm sure every Astros fan in the ballpark is experiencing stoke-like symptoms right about now;

Whole body: balance disorder, fatigue, lightheadedness, or vertigo
Visual: blurred vision, double vision, sudden visual loss, or temporary loss of vision in one eye
Speech: difficulty speaking, slurred speech, or speech loss
Sensory: pins and needles or reduced sensation of touch
Facial: muscle weakness or numbness
Limbs: numbness or weakness

And as a SF Giants fan the real beauty of it all is that the L.A. Dodgers were the losers. They played like N.L. champions though, I'll give'em that. This game goes down as possibly the best modern day World Series game to date. Instead of lights out pitching, we were served a smorgasbord of power hitting. And I don't care what anyone says, home runs are much more exciting to watch over a five hour period than strike outs.

I, like most fans watching I'm sure, tried distracting myself with all sorts of little activities during the game just to get the tension off of me. From working on reinforcing a bookcase to fixing a leaky faucet. None of it worked.

Some games have a way of taking you over, body and soul; this was that game.

If you're not a sports fan then I'm sure this blog post sounds like some fanatical, sports obsessed, go get a life nutcase that needs a purpose in life.  Well let me tell you, after watching this World Series game 5, I can truly say that yes, I'm a proud member of the American Sports Fandom culture who find brotherhood and fellowship in watching special moments in pro sports. Tonight was without a doubt, special. Tonight, I died and went to sports heaven; ten times. It was......Heavenly!

Final Score (10th)
Dodgers 12
Astros 13

Can't wait to watch the replay, all 5 hours of it!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Me Love You Long Time" 1987

Why is aging so much fun at times? Because we're able to look back on one event or moment in life, and see how it left its mark on future events. Like yesterday when I went to buy a thank you card for an uncle, thanking him for serving our country in the military back in his day. I was rushed and the only card that looked interesting in the store was a 3D version of a Chinese take-out food box. I figured I could come up with some spicy words to write down inside that'll bring back hot and steamy memories my Uncle might have from serving in the Pacific. He's still a ladies man even in retirement.

I can't say all that I wrote inside the card, but there's one phrase that says it all about the theme and humor in what I wrote, which of course involves women:   "Me Love You Long Time"

When I first wrote the phrase I was thinking, of course, of the 1987 hit movie "Full Metal Jacket" with the memorable scene and dialogue involving the Viet hooker. That scene still amazes me with its clean, antiseptic view of life in Da Nang during the ugly Vietnam war. The people and cars moving by in the background look like an Asian Disneyland promotion with palm tree tops and a man dressed in pristine white, directing traffic. Only the hooker, with her cheap, seducing movement and dirty dialogue ("me so horny, me love you long time,) gives the scene a trashy feel that somehow excites our male hormones. When she turns around and flips up her itty bitty skirt to show panties the scene becomes golden.

Some of the Viet hooker's dialogue were later featured in two rap songs that would change how we in the U.S. look at Asian women and how we view big butts on white females. To think that the 1989 song "Me So Horny" by 2-Live-Crew was banned from the airwaves in Florida because of its lyrics. The rap group was prosecuted on obscenity charges that were later dropped.

I don't think actress Lucy Liu could have been so highly viewed as a sex symbol in the 1990's if the Viet Hooker from this movie had not said "Me So Horny" and "Love You Long Time" the sexy way she said it and with her awkwardly sexy movements. She definitely left an impression on the American male psyche.

And I don't think white women with big butts would have become viewed as sexy, outside of the black community, had rapper Sir Mix-a-lot not thrown the "Me So Horny" line into his hit song "Baby Got Back" in 1992. Today, celebrities like Kim K owe much to the Viet hooker actress whose performance began a change in  Film, Music, Sexuality and overall American Culture. Her performance still reverberates down today into the melting pot that is America.

As for who was the actress that played the Viet Hooker in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket?"

Papillon Soo Soo

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Houston Astros Win Marathon in L.A.

It was one heck of a World Series Game 2 where the clutch hits just kept coming. The Houston Astros battled and fought off the hometown Dodgers in an extra innings fall classic-Classic.  I have to say that with the way the Astros hung in there for 11 innings, fighting on the road, the Dodgers are left looking at an uphill task. And even though the home team played great, I'm sure some of the Dodgers faithful are feeling a few shivers of doubt climbing up their backs tonight. Houston definitely has swung the momentum in their favor with this hard-earned win.

The teams have both won one game each with the series now heading to Houston where those fans haven't had a World Series champion ever. E-V-E-R! 

The baseball world couldn't have asked for a better matchup, the teams with two of the three best regular season records in the majors are playing like all-stars. Even frick'in Puig is showing a little class by respectfully laying down his bat after hitting a home run; but only after throwing a mini-tantram after missing a diving catch in the outfield. Hey, whaddaya expect, its Puig!

Tough Loss Tonight Dodgers, Tough Loss!

Finals Score
Astros 7
Dodgers 6

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Richard Pryor - Revolution of Identity

For those who might not get the evolution of this 1977 skit, what makes it so funny is watching the transformation of a conservative black president once he's inadvertently reminded by black reporter's of the black issues the country's facing. What happens is the more he's reminded of the issues of black inequality, the more he reverts back to being the black radical brotha who's tired of white privilege and southern dixiecrat politics. 

Reporter:   Mr. President.
President:  What?
Reporter:   James Bixby, Mississippi News.
President:  Sit Down!

I'm amazed at how although this is a fictional comedy skit from forty years ago, our country is still wrestling with many of the issues the skit brings up; 

Peace in the Middle East
Nuclear Bombs
FBI Director Nominations
Quarterbacks, Coaches, Owners in NFL
Sexual Misconduct Accusations
Christian Right

Maybe its not that Richard Pryor prophesied the future of America, but that America hasn't progressed much in forty years. 

Reporter:    Mrs. Fennan Carlton Macker, Christian Womens' News. Mr. President, since you've become president, you've been seen and photographed on the arms of white women.

Crowd:    ooh ooh ooh

Reporter:    Frankly sir, you've been courting an awful lot of white women, will this continue?

President:    As long as I can keep it up. I mean, why do you think they call it the white house?

In the end it comes down to one thing that completely sets off the fully transformed black president and causes him to lose all decorum; a white reporter talks about his momma.

Don't you be talkin bout my momma!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hey Sports Networks, Guess Who's Not Going to the World Series

I just love it when the obvious media darlings in a playoff game are eliminated and the broadcasters left speechless. When the Houston Astros first broke through the 0-0 tie with a solo home run shot in the fourth inning, the broadcasters went dead silent, like their favorite team was in jeopardy of losing. I hate favoritism in the broadcast booth, unless its my team being favored of course.

So the legendary mighty Yankees weren't that mighty when it mattered this time around.

Yep! In game 7 of the ALCS, the Houston Astros took down the New York Yankees in a series that saw the home team win all seven games. The Yankees were in it and threatening in the top of the fifth with men on first and third with one out. On their next hit ball, Houston's third baseman fielded the infield grounder and threw a perfectly placed throw into the catchers mitt just before the Yankees runner reached home plate from third base. Seemed like the catcher caught the ball only seconds before catching the foot of the runner sliding home. The tag was obvious, the Yankees runner was called out and that's when I knew, its over.

That play seemed to inflate the confidence of the Astros and at the same time deflate the hopes of the Yankees. It also deflated those Yankees broadcasting fans in the booth. 

The Astros would go on to score three runs in their bottom half of the inning to make it 4-0 and that's how this ALCS deciding game would end. Congratulations Houston Astros on a AL Championship Season!

Yankees 0

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oakland Raiders Classic TNF Win

WR #89 Amari Cooper touchdown catch and run in Raiders 31-30 win over Kansas City Chiefs

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times! A Thursday Night Football (TNF) game in Oakland, between two old AFL rivals (Raiders vs Chiefs) is just what Raider Nation and the Raiders organization needed. The Chiefs played like the conference leading team that they are. The Raiders played like the dominating offensive team they were thought to be at the start of the season. In the end only one could be victorious, though both played their butts off.

It was the best of times for both teams because a short week after a loss gives players no time to dwell on the past game. It was the worst of times for both teams because a short week also means players can't fully heal from aches and injuries sustained in their previous Sunday matchups. 

The game itself was a battle for the ages as the Raiders rediscovered their wide receiver weapon that is Amari Cooper (11 rec / 210 yds / 2 tds). The Raiders not only rediscovered Coop, they dusted off their old arsenal of attacking offensive schemes and knocked the Chiefs defense off their game just enough to win. I knew it on the Raiders first offensive play, an out pass to Coop for about 11 yards and a first down, that the offense had given up the vanilla flavor schemes, at least for one game. That predictable handoff to Marshawn Lynch up the middle early in games was gone.

This game saw Lynch mostly as a decoy; and the Chiefs bit on the play action almost every time. By the time Lynch was thrown out of the game for touching an official during a scrum, Raiders running backs Washington and Richard were giving the offense a spark with spurting runs and catches out of the backfield.

It was fitting to have soulful saxophone player Mike Phillips perform the star spangled banner under the Coliseum lights with a huge, 100 yard flag being held by what I think were military personnel. Also the Raiders 1967 AFC Champion players were introduced before the game to loud, passionate screams from Raiders fans. And you know, as usual, big papa #00 Jim Otto always gets the biggest cheers. So the stage had been set for two legendary pro football rivals, one sporting red devil red, the other angelic white, to take the field and give the screaming barbarians their paid pound of flesh. Neither the players nor the fans disappointed, it was beautiful! And yes, there was a jetfighter flyover.

This game ranks right up there with some of the best Raiders games I've ever seen at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. And it wasn't just the electrifying plays on the field; the electric vibe throughout the Coliseum was magnetic and intoxicating for all who were mesmerized after willingly drinking the kool-aid. 

It was what was at stake for the Raiders season that had Raider Nation tense from the get go. A Raiders loss would've definitely been a nail in the coffin for this season and possibly prompted changes in the coaching staff. Instead, the talk is all about the team still in the playoff hunt and looking like a legitimate contender for the crown. Also, with the debut of newly signed linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who was given a thundering ovation during defensive introductions, the night couldn't have had more drama and expectation in the air.

If I could bottle the emotion and passion that touched upon every fan at that game last night, I'd present it to world leaders with a note attached saying "here's the scent of world peace, use it." I swear I saw blacks hugging whites, home foreclosure victims hugging investment bankers, Christians hugging Muslims, Republicans hugging Democrats and Bernie look-a-likes, Israelis hugging Palestinians and crips n bloods flashing truce signs. I stand by what I've been saying for years, a Raiders game is the only place where you can go amongst people of all different backgrounds and walks of life and feel like all of them are your brothers and sisters, period.

Raider Nation is more than just a fanatical fan base for a perceived renegade team; its a living, breathing example of what you get when the concept of unity meets the practice of fellowship. 

It was a rare moment in football and sports that players, coaches and fans live for and can only hope to be a part of. Raiders coach Jack Del Rio kind of touched on what "the excitement of being in that position" is like, during his post-game interview. He had definitely drank the Kool-Aid and did well in giving facts while you could see he was full of the fun that winning a game like this brings. Jack might be one of the best at handling post-game press conferences win, lose or tie.

Hopefully last night's nationally televised Raiders game reminded our country of just how unique and wonderful it's varied culture of citizens are when given a level playing field in life ,where the same rules of conduct and competition apply to all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NaVorro Bowman Dressed In Silver & Black

#53 Now Protecting The Shield

Former 49ers middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman has signed with the Raiders. It might be a too little too late addition to our defense, but at least our sometimes questionable GM (Reggie McKenzie) didn't sleep on filling a Raiders need.  Bowman brings 7 years of experience and a huge chip on his shoulder. If nothing else he'll help in the development of our young linebacker corps.

The Raiders are facing the division leading Kansas City Chiefs this Thursday night. The silver & black are coming off another loss that featured a toothless offensive game plan. Is it possible they'll use Bowman as a fullback to block for Beast Mode? Anything should be possible when trying to spice up our offensive playbook. We're 2-4 heading into this game. Its all hands on deck if we want to salvage any chances of having a successful season. A Chiefs win will all but bury the Raiders playoff chances. A Raiders win might just awaken a beast that's been hibernating through four games.

Come'on Raiders Coaches and Players; we have a defining moment approaching for Raider Nation. Show us you haven't given up on the team. Show us you're willing to give everything you have to protect our house. Show us that you're capable of sending Andy Reid and the Chiefs back to KC with a second loss in five days. Show us a dog that can still hunt.

Just Show Us!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Rest In Peace - Connie Hawkins

He was the basketball player who brought New York City float and flair street-ball to the NBA. Though his early professional career was marred and delayed by a point-shaving scandal that he had nothing to do with, Connie Hawkins made it to the pros and left his mark on the game.

I have his autobiography on my book shelf, "Foul!: The Connie Hawkins Story by David Wolf." I set it down after a few chapters because of the sadness of Connie's early life of poverty and being bullied.  I remember skipping through to the chapters about the scandal and found more sadness, so I set it aside again.

Now with "The Hawk's" passing I feel I owe it to myself and the humble legend to delve into his autobiography and not let up until I've come to know the high's of Hawk's career and life.  I do know that he was a Harlem Globetrotter for a while, that's a life highlight. He also was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, definitely a highlight.

Too think that Julius Erving, "Dr. J.," might of modeled his signature slam dunk after The Hawk's ball-palming style of attacking the basket is definitely a highlight for him.
Connie Hawkins, one of the best players to ever play the game. A Basketball Legend, from the playgrounds of NYC to the Arena's of professional sports. The Hawk will be remembered.

Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points11,528 (18.7 ppg)
Rebounds5,450 (8.8 rpg)
Assists2,556 (4.1 apg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Connie Hawkins; A Victim of Injustice